'Suits': 'Game of Thrones' fan Patrick J. Adams on working with Michelle Fairley
Patrick J. Adams of USA's legal drama "Suits" is a big fan of HBO's "Game of Thrones" and considers it near-miraculous that he didn't hear about the wholesale slaughter of the Stark family at the Red Wedding in the "Rains Castamere" episode of the show, which aired June 2.
"My manager and dear friend, who is just the worst at ruining things for me, he takes such pride in it. He did it for 'Sopranos.' He did it for everything," Adams tells Zap2it, "He has read all of the 'Game of Thrones' books, so you can imagine somebody who likes to throw out spoilers for me, amazingly, managed to stay silent about the Red Wedding."
So, Adams -- who plays not-quite-lawyer Mike Ross -- wasn't sure what was up when "GoT" star Michelle Fairley showed up on the "Suits" set in her recurring role as Ava Hessington, a British entrepreneur who must put her legal fate in the hands of Mike's mentor, top litigator Harvey Specter ( Gabriel Macht).
Recalls Adams, "When I met Michelle, I said, 'So, when do you go back to the show?' I saw a moment, I saw a flicker in her eye. She said, 'Well ...', and then I said, 'Stop, I don't want to know more.'
"So I think I knew that she was coming to an end. What I didn't know is just how brutal it was going to be. I didn't know that Robb Stark was going down. I didn't know his lady was going down. I didn't know any of that.
"I didn't realize that her dying meant the end of all the Starks, basically, and the entire Army of the North. As a fan, I took it as a hard hit. It was one of the most painful last 20 minutes of a television show that I can really remember watching.
"But, then, to be able to go the next day to work and work right across from her such a gift. That was the best part, watching that and having that experience of that brutality and saying, 'Well, I'm OK, I get to go to work with her tomorrow.'"
Adams even managed to resist the impulse to pump Fairley for details.
"As you can imagine," he says, "that was not an easy scene to shoot for any of them. I think it took them about a week to shoot all of it. Like any show, they're a big family over there. So, I got the sense to not press for too much. I didn't want to dredge up the memories of what must have been a really painful, emotional shoot on the show.
"I'm definitely asking questions from time to time, but she's such a laid-back, amazing woman. All of them are, just being from that part of the world, 'Oh, it's just a lot of fun. We're having a good time.'
"And you're sitting there going, 'This is the greatest story on television right now, and they're all just having a laugh, having a drink, ans they all just go out and laugh about it."
Fairley is not the only "Game of Thrones" alum, or even the only U.K. actor, to land on "Suits."
Northern Ireland native Conleth Hill, who plays Varys, is returning to "Suits" in his role as Edward Darby, head of the British firm that has just merged with Pearson Hardman, now Pearson Darby, which employs Harvey and Mike.
British actor Max Beesley ("Hotel Babylon") is also on board, playing Stephen Huntley, Darby's right-hand man.
"They've become quick members of the family over here at 'Suits,'" Adams says. "So, we don't want to let them go."
Season 3 of "Suits" premieres at 10 p.m. ET Tuesday, July 16 on USA.